8th Circuit Court upholds funeral protest law | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

8th Circuit Court upholds funeral protest law

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 12:20 PM

The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld today a Missouri city ordinance aimed at picketing and other forms of protests at funerals. Such protests may be limited, the court said, as to time, place and manner — in this case 300 feet from a service during and for an hour on either side of the service. Arkansas and Congress have passed similar laws.

The U.S. Supreme Court had earlier overruled a damage suit by a father whose military veteran son's funeral was targeted by the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka for one of its many protests at military funerals, loosely built around denunciations of homosexuality. But, the 8th Circuit said, that Supreme Court decision made clear it was for the specific case at which protesters had complied with an even stricter law on funeral limits. It left the door open to some restrictions. The 8th Circuit decided today there was a significant public interest in protecting "the privacy interests of funeral attendees," equivalent to that extended to people in their homes and, by statute, people seeking to enter health facilities.

The full 8th Circuit heard the case and none dissented, though a concurrence from Judge Lavenski Smith of Arkansas noted:

... this court is extending the circumference of what this circuit has previously found constitutes a significant government interest. The uniqueness of the funeral assembly justifies it. We must be concerned, however, that few, if any, other places become walled off to the free expression of ideas due to their potential effect on the hearer.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • An open line for Sunday

    An open line.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • City plans more spending on 30 Crossing

    The Little Rock City Board meets Tuesday to set an agenda for the following week and among the "consent" items is a new $175,000 with Nelson/Nygaard consultants to "assist with a comprehensive review" of the 30 Crossing project, otherwise known as the bigger concrete ditch the Department of Transportation wants to tear through the heart of Little Rock.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • NFL owners rise to defense of players against Trump and false patriots

    Many football team owners have risen to the defense of players against Donald Trump criticism as yet another racially fraught issue seems likely to gain increasing heat thanks to Trump's rhetoric.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Trump's strangulation of Obamacare

    If he can't kill it outright, Donald Trump will do all he can to cripple Obamacare. Vox has detailed reporting on deep cuts in federal spending that support nonprofit agencies that help people sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
    • Sep 18, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation